Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Anyone who bakes (well, I bet almost anyone) would have their pound cake stories to tell. You know, the search for the perfect pound cake - with the perfect crumb yet buttery and so fulfilling you'd feel like you've committed a crime to your waistline after eating just half a piece. My mother used to bake pound cakes once in a while, not as often as this cake, but I didn't remember loving it as much as the green stuff.
My pound cake story actually went untold about two years ago, when I first steered the blog towards food while being stuck at my childhood home with a broken leg. I baked this after discovering my new found affection for anything-baked-by-Deb. Foolishly I tried to cram a full pound cake batter into one loaf large tin, filling it to the brim. Ten minutes later, my mother's counter top oven floor was filled with vanilla cake batter, grilling into smoked ashes. After some rescue work, the cake was edible but overcooked around the edges and slightly wet in the middle. Luckily for me, my brother finished most it, grateful for any cake at all.
Ever since then, pound cake recipes were bookmarked and put aside, while I moved on to bake cakes requiring much more skills and finicky mucking around compared to the plain old pound cake. One Friday night after Vijay left for the weekend though, I had the sudden urge to bake. (If you're a baker you'll know what I'm talking about.) It was almost 8 at night and all I had in my pantry were ingredients to make a basic pound cake. (Cocoa and chocolate were strangely not considered at that time, how strange.) So I remembered ogling at this beauty at Shirley's and proceeded to preheat the oven.
An hour later, I was rewarded with pound cake heaven, and wished I baked a full pound recipe instead of one half. When Vijay returned on Sunday night, I told him I'd eat one piece, he could have his share and bring the rest to work. The cake never left the house. Over the next couple of days, we fought over it till I got the last piece.
Tish Boyle's Plainly Perfect Pound Cake
Adapted barely from Shirley's @Kokken, original recipe from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book.
Yield: A 5x9" loaf.
- 200 grams/2 cups plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 227 grams/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 250 grams castor sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 80 millilitres full fat milk
Preheat oven to 170°C. Prepare and line a 5x9" loaf tin. Sift flour with baking powder and salt, set aside.
Cream butter in a mixer at medium high speed until cream, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue beating for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixing speed of the mixer to low and add eggs one at a time mixing until well mixed. Add the citrus zests and vanilla extract.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with the milk (added in 2 additions). Pour into prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minutes or until the cake turns brown and a testing skewer comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
Life Is Great explores the incredible world of food and cooking. We hope to share with you our most delicious moments and inspirations.
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Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
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